Swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Simone Biles both won two awards at the 25th annual ESPY Awards in downtown Los Angeles.
Phelps won for best record-breaking performance for extending his own records for most Olympic gold medals and medals won and as best U.S. male Olympic athlete.
Biles won the best U.S. Olympic athlete and best female athlete awards.
The New England Patriots were nominated for five awards, but won just one for best game for their come-from-behind Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
The ESPY Awards Wednesday brought together a who’s-who of the sporting world’s elite, filling a television gap on one of the rare days of the year on which no major professional sporting events are being held.
Two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning hosted the ceremony at the Microsoft Theater.
During the ceremony, former first lady Michelle Obama posthumously honored Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics.
Obama presented the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Shriver’s son, Timothy, the chairman of Special Olympics. The Arthur Ashe award is presented to someone “whose contributions transcend sports,” with past recipients including Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell and Jim Valvano.
Retired Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully was presented with the Icon Award, which honors people who “have left a lasting impression on the sports world.” Scully, who retired at the end of last season after 67 years behind the mic with the Dodgers, was presented the award by actor Bryan Cranston.
Scully thanked Cranston for flying from New York City for the day to present the award to him.
“I don’t have a relative in the world who make that kind of a trip,” Scully said.
After recounting the story of when he first fell in love with baseball on Oct. 2, 1936, when walked by a window and saw the score of Game 2 of the 1936 World Series, Scully said “God gave us memories so we could have roses in December. In the December of my years I have collected so many roses and cherished each and every one of them.
You gave me a rose tonight to join my collection for all those years. I am humbled. I am honored.”
Other dignitaries serving as presenters during the show include ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, former talk show host Jon Stewart, actors Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner, 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George and race car driver Danica Patrick.
Here is a complete list of ESPY Award winners: BEST MALE ATHLETE Russell Westbrook, NBA BEST FEMALE ATHLETE Simone Biles, Gymnastics BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE Kevin Durant, NBA Finals BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE Dak Prescott, NFL BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE Michael Phelps extends his own record of most gold medals/most Olympic medals BEST UPSET Mississippi State defeats Connecticut, Women’s NCAA Basketball Final Four BEST GAME Patriots vs. Falcons, Super Bowl BEST COMEBACK ATHLETE Jordy Nelson, NFL BEST PLAY Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook BEST TEAM Golden State Warriors, NBA BEST INTERNATIONAL ATHLETE Usain Bolt, Track & Field BEST NFL PLAYER Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers BEST MLB PLAYER Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels BEST NHL PLAYER Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins BEST DRIVER Lewis Hamilton, Formula One BEST NBA PLAYER LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers BEST WNBA PLAYER Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks BEST FIGHTER Demetrious Johnson, MMA BEST MALE GOLFER Sergio Garcia BEST FEMALE GOLFER Ariya Jutanugarn BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER Roger Federer BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER Serena Williams BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE DeShaun Watson, Clemson football BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE Kelly Barnhill, Florida softball BEST COACH Bob Hurley Sr. BEST MALE ACTION SPORTS ATHLETE Mark McMorris, Snowboard BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORTS ATHLETE Anna Gasser, Snowboard BEST JOCKEY John Velasquez BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY Steve Serio, Wheelchair Basketball BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY Becca Meyers, Swimming BEST BOWLER Jason Belmonte BEST MLS PLAYER David Villa, New York City FC BEST MALE US OLYMPIC ATHLETE Michael Phelps, Swimming BEST FEMALE US OLYMPIC ATHLETE Simone Biles, Gymnastics.
—City News Service
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